Agenda and draft minutes

Consultative meeting, Personnel Committee - Thursday, 2nd September, 2021 10.00 am

Venue: online via zoom

Contact: Debbie Meakin Email: dmeakin@eastdevon.gov.uk 

Media

Items
No. Item

1.

Chair Introduction

Minutes:

The Chair welcomed the newly appointed HR Manager, outlining her past achievements to date, and continued development to obtain a Senior Leader MBA Degree Apprenticeship.

2.

Public speaking

Minutes:

There were no members of the public registered to speak.

3.

Declarations of interest

Guidance is available online to Councillors and co-opted members on making declarations of interest

 

Minutes:

Cllr J Loudoun; Minute 6: Personal Interest; Former employee of union and receives a pension from that union.

4.

Matters of urgency

Information on matters of urgency is available online

 

Minutes:

None.

5.

Confidential/exempt item(s)

To agree any items to be dealt with after the public (including the Press) have been excluded.  There are no items which officers recommend should be dealt with in this way.

Minutes:

None.

6.

Implementation of proposed independent review of EDDC Management Structure and workforce/HR priorities pdf icon PDF 415 KB

Additional documents:

Minutes:

The report set out a proposal to revise the original remit for the independent management review, following discussions on the potential procurement frameworks and the desire to include aspects such as:

·         Current workforce challenges

·         Management pay review

·         Succession planning

·         Leadership and management development.

 

An HR Manager has now been appointed and has identified workforce challenges as:

·         Ensuring that workforce capacity meets service demand, within budgetary constraints

·         Overcoming significant recruitment challenges

·         Establishing more robust succession planning

·         Learning from the recent office relocation and pandemic working arrangements which support both excellent service delivery and retention of staff

·         Continuing to support managers and staff through recent significant changes in working practices and high service demands, relating the work to the emerging Council Plan, and a strong focus on staff health and wellbeing

·         Build upon positive employee and trade union relations to support high performance, recruitment and retention, including retaining the Platinum Investors in People (IIP) accreditation.

 

Prioritising these elements meant that recruitment, retention, and how staff would operate post-pandemic, would need to be addressed first, delaying the review of the management structure until next year.

 

The interventions to deal with these challenges were set out in the report, alongside the proposed written specification for the appointment of an organisation to undertake the review.  The proposed evaluation criteria and procurement approach were also set out for the committee to consider.  The expected timeframe led to recommendations for consideration in February, to coincide with the budget setting for 2022/23.

 

Discussions had been made with framework providers, giving a confidence that a suitable provider could be found.

 

Debate from the committee included:

·         Clarity on how information from exit interviews was used;

·         Involvement of the Chair of Personnel and the Portfolio Holder for Council and Corporate Co-ordination in putting forward the revised approach; discussion would take place after the meeting on the merits of extending this to include another Member from the committee, retaining political balance;

·         IIP accreditation renewal was not due for 18 months, so did not attract expenditure for 2022/23 budget.  The accreditation was a means of independent assessment on how well the Council was run, and the Platinum accreditation achieved was testament to that.  The Council continued to be the best Council both regionally and nationally;

·         Work was already underway in assessing how the workforce would operate post-pandemic, including a staff survey and Service Lead evaluation of office- based needs;

·         Current informal career pathways would be expanded to look at customer care centre entry level posts that lead to posts within services.  The IIP accreditation benefits included regular performance reviews of staff, which enabled high performers to be identified;

·         There was no specific budget for continuous improvement, but training budgets were in place, although reduced in recent years due to budget pressures.  Assessment would be made on the effectiveness of online learning modules.  Continual improvement was a core value for all services across the Council, as part of the embedded process of the systems thinking approach.  This had led to both efficiencies in service  ...  view the full minutes text for item 6.